Grace Notes // Empires + The Mark of the Beast

Written by Keli Miller


“It’s hard not to be marked by the beast in 2019.” - Chris Moerman

All of my life my eyes have been peeled and on the lookout - skeptical of the number six and hesitant to buy into anything with a chip. It was all a sign that the end was near and the beast was coming. This is yet another example of missing the point entirely. In many ways Revelation is a book of warning, a telling of things to come but one thing that it should never be is a book of fear. Fear is opposing to the very way of God’s Kingdom.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.” - 1 John 4:18

As Pastor Chris explained on Sunday, in the context of the Hebrew culture, 666 would have read as Nero Caesar and represented the empire famous for its stance against Christianity. This cuts through generations, this is God taking His stance against the empires that rise against Him. Then, this represented the Roman Empire. Today, the mark of the beast represents those who have given over to the way of this world. God will always stand against people or things that try to take what is rightfully his.

The beast has marked a lot of things in this world. But what has God marked? What has God set apart? In Revelation 18:4, God’s people are specifically called to come out and separate ourselves,

“Then I heard, another voice from heaven; Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues.”  

It’s easy to look at the ways of the world and wonder if we are missing out, just like the church of Thyatira felt left out and began to question God. When God calls us to separate ourselves He is not withholding from us but protecting us. “Come out of her so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues.”  We are living amongst the beast, brushing shoulders every day with his ways. As Chris stated Sunday, “It is hard not to be marked by the beast in 2019.”   It starts with the small compromises and doubts growing within us. The way of the World is marked by fear- fear of not having enough and fear of harm. Pushing others down so that we might get ahead. It’s the lie that we have to fight for ourselves.

But the Kingdom of God is marked by trust in God’s promises. We do not need to lie, deceive and push others down but can rest in the victory that has been promised to us and celebrate others success.  Let us leave behind what is the world’s and walk confidently in the direction of Christ, giving to God what is rightfully his, our worship, adoration, and surrendered life.

“Give, then, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” - Matthew 22:21

On The Journey Inwards

In what ways are our lives marked by God?

Are there areas of our lives that have be “marked by the beast”?

What does a “non-compromised” life look like in 2019?

In the Word

Revelation 17- 18

Matthew 22:15-22

1 John 2:15-17

1 John 5:18-21